Breaking The Habit (How to overcome addiction)
We tend to preach consistency in life more than we preach progression. Being consistent is not a bad thing when your consistency builds upon itself (consistently adding weight to the bar, running a little further, writing a little more, or studying a little longer). The only problem is that when we think of consistency, we think of doing the same thing again and again....consistently. A good example would be going to the gym. Though you consistently go to the gym and work out, you may not see results because your work out or diet plan is ineffective. Consistency in itself is unchanging. Consistency is like insanity. We do the same things over and over in order to continue with our outcomes expecting for different results. This was something I had learned later on in life. The past few years I was so caught up in avoiding stress, my anxieties, and life that I started forming horrible habits. One day I realized I was getting nowhere. I was doing the same thing everyday and I was thinking the same thing at the end of the day....I need to change. So today, I want to share with you guys how I made my changes. How I became more productive with my life and my time. Though I can tell you how I broke my habits, I cannot make you break yours. You have to have the WANT to change. Habits are not easily broken, but it's possible.
The very first tool I had used to break my habits was to occupy the time that I would fall victim to my habits the most. I would think the most (usually depressing thoughts) early in the morning when no one was awake or late at night before bed. What I started last summer was blogging and gaming (gaming in itself was another habit I later conquered as well). I would blog around 5-7 every morning and then game from 7-9. By then it was time for me to either get ready for school or get ready to go work out. I had no time to think about my life, because I was busy filling my mind with writing and gaming. Eventually I started filling up my time in the evenings. I would start blogging, making YouTube videos for out "PowerHouse Aesthetics" channel, or brand promote on periscope. My goal was to be as productive with my time as possible. Eventually I got rid of the gaming as well, by replacing the time I gamed with more periscope and promoting. Since I am a pretty tech savvy/computer nerd kind of person, I really enjoyed being on the computer all morning (and I still do). I found a way to turn my interests into productivity like I am right now while typing this.
Replace The Substance
Some people have the habit of drinking alcohol late at night, smoking, or endlessly drinking coffee. For me, it was a lot of coffee every morning. This was horrible for me, because it would actually flare up my anxiety and make me jittery all day. Having anxiety for years, I never really considered caffeine to flare it until stumbling upon some forums about anxiety. The next few mornings I did not drink coffee and was probably the worst caffeine withdrawal of my life. I felt horrible, nauseous, and my work outs suffered greatly. Every morning I was so tempted to make some coffee, because that is what I did every single morning since middle school. I woke up, made a pot of coffee/or found the pot someone else made, then sat and drank coffee watching television. Each morning I felt like something in my daily routine was missing. When me and my brother finally got sponsored by MTSNutrition I decided to try out the MTS "multi vitamins and greens" product. I started to mix it into a bottle of water with MTS "agmatine" (shown to lower anxiety and help with blood flow in the body. To my surprise this combo being healthy, replaced my daily routine of waking up and making coffee, and helping with lowering my anxiety, actually helping me not drink a drop of caffeine since April 22, 2016 (and I don't plan on having any any time soon). Sometimes you need to replace the substance with something more beneficial to your body.
Like anything in life, moral support can drastically increase your chances of success. Much like I talked about in my article Overcoming Social Anxiety, having moral support and talking to those setting to accomplish the same thing (or have already conquered it) can make you feel not alone, confident overcoming is possible, and even empowered. Finding those who have already won their battle with their habits and addictions and listening to what they have to say can help make you feel confident and give you tools needed to make your battle that much easier to win. Remember battles are won in numbers, not alone.
I speak of this lightly, because nowadays social media is flooded with complaints and false claims of "this year will be a better year". Broadcasting (posting your changes and what you set out to accomplish) will help hold you accountable. If you are trying to break a habit/addiction and you go each day through difficulty, it would be rather easy to fall victim again then go back to trying to change without anyone knowing. Sometimes we must use fear to our advantage. Fear of failure is a tool many people use successfully to accomplish specific goals in life. With broadcasting your challenge to yourself and your changes you will be making, you are adding the fear of embarrassment. You are adding the fear of someone asking you "hey how is your challenge going" and having to tell them you fell victim one more time. USE FEAR TO YOUR ADVANTAGE. First thing I did when making challenges for myself was to tell people that would hold me accountable. I started speaking of it on periscope and YouTube videos. Last thing I would want is someone to ask me how it went and have to explain to them I did not succeed. Sometimes you have to create fear in order to run from it....and run towards a productive life.
Last but not least we have various deadlines. Why progressive? Because in order to not have a relapse, you will need to build some will power first. What progressive deadlines do is act as a reward system the first few attempts until you are used to not using the substance, performing the action, or thinking a specific way. What I did was I used all the tools listed above and allowed myself to perform the given habit once that weekend. After that "scheduled relapse" I would either go 2 weeks or one month depending on difficulty. Eventually I got to the point of not even desiring the reward system. I never feel like gaming, I never scroll through social media, never want coffee, etc. Stuff like heroin you might not (SHOULD NOT) want to use this method. This is for lighter/softer addictions that have less relapse effect and cause less harm to you life (have more of a long term effect).
As you can see there are many different tools out there to your disposal when fighting any habit or addiction. Every battle can be won with the right mindset, tools, and support.
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